Inspired by the swashbuckling travelogues of Victorian diplomat Lord Dufferin, frail surburbanite Tim Moore sets out to prove his physical and spiritual worth before his sceptical Nordic in-laws by retracing Dufferin's epic voyage to Iceland and Spitzbergen.
Dufferin's battles with icebergs, polar bears and the deep potations of hospitable Norsemen is a tale of derring-do; Moore's struggle against seasickness, vertigo and over-priced groceries is all too plainly one of derring-don't. As his bid to emulate the Empire tradition of fearless pluck in the face of adversity crumbles before haughty Icelandic skippers, a convoy of Norwegian Vikings and Spitzbergen's Soviet ghost towns, he finds himself transferring his affections to Dufferin's valet Wilson, a man so profoundly gloomy that 'he was seen to smile but once, when told that his colleague, the steward, had been almost thrown overboard'. As Moore says, 'Dufferin seems the personification of Kipling's 'If'. I'm more of a 'But... ' man myself.'
FROST ON MY MOUSTACHE is the wretched apologia of a big earl's blouse.